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4.2 out of 5 stars
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4.2 out of 5 stars
Format: Blu-ray|Change
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This is a very traditional foray into the territory of the Chinese martial arts epic, with all the expected elements; wire flying, improbable stunts, glorious battle scenes, incredible sets and scenery, and (spoiler alert!) no happy endings. If there's anything in that which you don't care for, you probably won't like this film. If, on the other hand, you have enjoyed the likes of House of Flying Daggers, Battle of Wits, or Red Cliff, this is definitely one to watch. The script actually makes a lot more sense than most of these genre movies, and ignore previous reviewers - the subtitles are perfectly comprehensible (there are one or two slips in use of English, but nothing you can't easily correct for yourself) and I never found them to interfere with the fight scenes. There is no dubbed version on the blu ray, but if you can read you can enjoy this anyway. Unlike another reviewer I did not find the sound effects overdone at all, can't help wondering if they have something wrong with their sound system; there are some instances where sound is deliberately heightened for a specific impact in a scene, and I found it a clever use of sound and as appropriate as the occasional use of slow motion to enhance a scene. The music is excellent, very stirring at appropriate points, and romantic at others. The cast are superb, and fulfil their roles to perfection. On blu ray, the sound is sharp and clear, and the picture quality is really stunning. One or two times I was a bit dubious over whether a particular visual effect was intended, or some unexpected consequence of the transfer, but having seen the same part on a friend's dvd copy, it was intentional and another of the innovative uses of sound and visual by the director. I found this a real treat, even if there was nothing very original in the plot; a banquet for the eyes and ears, and a very satisfying experience.
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on 12 July 2011
***Some smallish spoilers in review***

Having recently watched Donnie Yen in IP Man i was keen to watch some of his other films. So i bought 14 Blades..little did i know what an Epic Masterpiece awaited me. I think this is one of his finest roles. He plays as Qinglong the leader of the Jinyiwei a sect of blademasters and secret police force who serve the Emperor and who are pretty much above the law. Anyway he is betrayed in a plot involving the exiled Prince Qing (Sammo Hung) who is trying to usurp power away from the Emperor. The love interest is Zhao Wei (she was very good in Red Cliff though her character in 14 blades is a bit more somber!). Other notables include the Flying Eagles(?) clan leader Judge (Wu Chun) and Qinglong's nemesis the invincible assassin Tuo Tuo (Prince Qing's daughter).

The last fight scene is seriously almost legendary in the way it is set up and the build up to the final confrontation. I am not sure i have seen a better fight scene. Though to be honest i think they should have made more of Tuo Tuo's role in the film. We only see her killing and annihilating those in her way, we dont explore her character or relationship with her father.

Ending is a bit sad but honourable in the Jinyiwei tradition. What can i say an Epic!

*edit picture and sound quality was excellent (1080p) playing on a HD projector with PS3.
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on 18 August 2010
Loved this film. Donnie Yen put in a great performance and all the supporting actors are great as well. One fight got on my nerves due to the CG used in it but the rest were perfect, especially like the first and last battles. The weapons deserve a special mention, whoever designed them done a great job as even the normal swords look exotic and stylish. The main characters have custom blades and bows which i would love to have mounted on my wall as they look great.

Nice story, nice characters, great sets (The last fight set is top notch), great effects and props. The action scenes do not disappoint, nice mix of full contact, Sword play, wires, a little CG, and acrobatics.

Wei Zhao is fast becoming an actress to keep an eye on, loved her in acting in Red Cliff and Mulan. Her ability to make each character she plays alive and realistic makes her support role in this film a pleasure to watch.

Overall, a great film with just a few little flaws which i enjoyed a lot. Can't wait for Wei Zhao or Donnie Yens next films. Daniel Lee done a great job and i will also be watching out for his next movie.
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on 14 April 2011
I found it a little hard to follow,
as the subtitles are small and are gone before you finish reading them! I lost track of who was who,
what they were doing and why! In the end i just gave up and watched the action,
of which there is plenty.
The blu-ray transfer is superb,rich in colour and detail,
some of the shots are stunning.Sound is superb,
blu-ray extra's are thin on the ground,
but who cares!
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on 25 October 2011
I don't need to repeat the rave reviews about the story or Donnie Yen's master performance. But I did want to mention the very poor transfer to Blu-ray. There are stunning set pieces spoiled due to over-sharpening. White fringes around any detail is a tell-tale sign that someone thought they could give us BLu-ray quuality just by applying sharpening to a DVD version without going back to the master film and starting from scratch. Really dissapointing, and the film looks much better upscalled from DVD in a BLu-ray player. I strongly advise you not to waste your money on the Blu-ray version - it's one of the seemingly increasing number of cheap video/DVD conversions to Blu-ray that are steadily giving HD a bad name.
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A fantastic movie from the Martial arts legend Donnie Yen who stars as a member of a secret intelligence agency, masters of the 14 BLADES, employed to protect the Emperor. When he is betrayed by his treasonous bretheren he must take on the deadliest assassins in the land to restore his Emperor to power. From the director of THREE KINGDOMS, 14 BLADES matches an eye-watering cinematic scope with bone-crunching and flesh-piercing action.
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on 24 June 2011
Got this for a reasonable £5 and looking at the description and some other commentary thought "What's the harm?"

The film itself is fast paced, with lots of intersecting and confusing plot lines as is common to many of this genre. Multiple viewings are probably the way to get past this. But that's going to be difficult as the picture quality is, well, not quality. Speaking as someone who regularly watches upscaled DVDs on a Denon DDV3930, which has an excellent ability to make a well encoided SD film look good on a 60" screen, this Blu-ray is very clearly, and poorly, upscaled from an SD master. There is excessive sharpening and a complete lack of detail where there should be plenty of fine grained visuals.

Summary: Don't pay a premium for the Blu-ray, but as a film it's OK.
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on 4 February 2011
14 Blades is an all out over the top action film with some wonderful heroic characters and beautifully choreographed fight sequences. Don't worry too much about the language barrier, action really does speak louder than words here and you soon forget you are watching a subtitled film.

For me the highlights of the film are the very cute Qiao Hua and deadly Tuo Tuo who gives all the lads a right good kicking.

It's nice to watch something out a completely different culture for a change, recommended viewing.
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on 5 October 2011
I loved the Three Kingdoms... And really looked forward to watching
this film... Daniel Lee, is a good director... he is Wuxia Master.
The action is great... The acting is great... The camrea work is
great too... BUT... And it is a big But!... The subtitles are
TERRIBLE... The subtitles, are so small... I spent my time trying
to read them, and that was very distracting!... so-much-so, that I
gave up watching this movie, halfway through... Now, if anybody knows
someone, who has anything to do with Daniel Lee... please tell him about
it... He is possible a world class director... but, his movies won't
get seen by the world, if the world can't read them... I look forward,
to his next film. But, someone have a word about the subtitles?
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on 13 March 2012
I loved the story, Action, Scenery & attention to Detail in this film.

Orphaned children thrown into mini Arena's by the chinese Emperor & told to fight each other to the death, to survive another day, day in & day out. Untill, they reach a certain point where they are deemed worthy of Assassin training.

Donnie Yen is the loyal, Elite Assassin, continually haunted by his experiences as a child, where he had to kill his own little brother in the Arena.

The story takes off when the Emperor is betrayed. The Assassins are then sent on a mission that goes wrong, leaving only one of them left & badly wounded. The enemy is in hot pursuit & Donnie takes refuge with a group of Nomadic, Caravan Escorts, who dont know who he is. But soon will. (I dont want to say too much).

There are a few other Mystical Characters in this film & the action scenes are Amazing. The girl just has to have sold her soul to the Devil to be able to do what she does & the young fella's skills are swift & magical aswell.

Are they any match for Donnie though..........?

I loved it...Big Thumbs up.
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